- 15 June 2017
- Posted by: Team for Youth Association
- Category: Volunteering Stories
Q: How did your impression of Romania change during the first months of your service?
Rosa: The dogs and the police turned out to be less dangerous than I thought. Learning Romanian is more difficult than learning Latin. At the beginning of my service, there were rumors that you can not drink the tap water, but many people drink it without boiling it and they are fine.
Juste: My impression didn’t change about Romania after two months here. Romanian people are very friendly and helpful. The environment is stunning because there are mountains and you could see it every day. I’m enjoying time here with my new friends and I’m glad to be a part of EVS family and do something better each day.
Inma: A lot of things have changed in my mind since I arrived. One of them is I feel more comfortable. Now I know where and how to buy things, how to go to the office and even some expressions to explain myself. So my life is so much easier now (or at least I feel less lost than at the beginning). One of the things that was strange for me when I arrived was the weather. I thought it was going to be similar to Spain… But no. The good point is there they are suffering a very hot weather, and here it’s ok ^^ But I need to prepare myself for the winter…
Also the greeting is a bit different. In Romania it’s giving two kisses, but in the opposite order! So for me it was a bit of a mess. And what about the buses? Here I have to buy a ticket before. In Madrid you have the option of going inside the bus and pay to the driver. So here if the bus is going to close the doors to go… Bye bye bus. There are more things that are different for me, and that I’m getting used to. The last one I’m going to say is about punctuality. In Spain it’s appreciated, but it’s not a problem if you are five minutes late. So… I have to work on that. But, like with other things, I’ll continue knowing the culture better and adapting to it 🙂
Skaiste: I have never been to Romania and even the region before. It is one of the main reasons why I came here: as a passionate traveler I wanted to explore the region. To be honest, I didn’t know a lot about Romania before coming here. I was not even sure which city is the capital of the country: Bucharest or Budapest. You must admit that they are so similar. It is the same as with Lithuania and Latvia: everyone is confusing them and saying that the capital city of Lithuania is Riga. Actually, the only thing I knew about Romania was that it always takes low positions in European Union statistics. So, the impression was that the country is doing pretty badly. It didn’t look like a safe country for me. But as I don’t like to follow stereotypes, I came here to break them. And I am glad that I did it, because although Romania is not a rich country, but there are not as many Roma people as I expected and I didn’t see any of them doing anything bad, the country seems safe and the people are nice. So, I can say for sure, that Romania changed my opinion into better and I am enjoying living here.
Wolfram: For me, things change, but not very much. The reason for this, is the fact that I know the country already, I lived 10 years in Cluj-Napoca which is as well a part of Transylvania like Baia Mare is… well, maybe the fact that I forgot to talk Romanian, and I am still learning new words, and maybe that I am more interested in culture, architectures, technical and developmental thoughts, changed the way how I observe the world around me. People and systems are changing and there is always a change in a period of lifetime, the people you are surrounded with, the people you love or hate, interests and wishes, motivations and thoughts, seasons and health etc. They all depend on others but more on you, of course sometimes you need to follow rules, but more important are inner signs you have to give attention.
Jorge: To be honest, not too much. And this does not mean that it is something bad, just the reverse. I know some Romanian people in Alicante, the city where I live in Spain, and they told me a lot of things about Romania. Firstly the things that are the same as I knew are the FOOD, because I tried Romanian food and they eat a lot of pork meat and soups. The POVERTY, that you can see for all over the streets in Romania. The RELIGION, I knew that there are two principally, Christian religion and Orthodox religion. And the MONEY, because Romania is a cheap country. However there are also things that surprised me. The PEOPLE, they are very similar to the Spanish people, too friendly and funny. The WEATHER, it is like in Spain, specifically Alicante, the summer too hot and the winter too cold and there is too humidity also. The NATURE and WILDLIFE, specifically in Baia Mare there are a lot of mountains, vegetation and animals. The TRAFFIC, there is a lot and the drivers are going very fast. And finally the HITCHHIKING, in Romania you can travel for all over the country without spending money, because there are a lot of people taking you in their cars. Surely with the passage of time I will discover more things about Romania and I will have better knowledge about this country.
The volunteers are hosted in the IN for EVS project, a 8 to 12 months of European Voluntary Service in the town of Baia Mare, financed by the European Commission in the Erasmus Plus program.